This review recollects literature data on sensitivity and dynamic range for the most commonly used colorimetric and fluorescent dyes for general protein staining, and summarizes procedures for the most common PTM-specific detection methods. It also compiles some important points to be considered in imaging and evaluation. In addition to theoretical considerations, examples are provided to illustrate differential staining of specific proteins with different detection methods. This includes a large body of original data on the comparative evaluation of several pre- and post-electrophoresis stains used in parallel on a single specimen, horse serum run in 2-DE (IPG-DALT). A number of proteins/protein spots are found to be over- or under-revealed with some of the staining procedures.